Love it or hate it, one thing is certain: Social networking has become part of the business environment. Even if you aren't ready to use Facebook or Twitter to enhance your company's brand, chances are good your employees are using work computers to play a lunchtime game of Farmville.
However, social media tools create yet another security risk for both business and government entities.
Cisco's 2009 Annual Security Report found that enterprises are experiencing persistent infections from social network activity.
In response to the Cisco report, Thomas Claburn wrote in InformationWeek:
"Social media represents a particular trouble spot because people tend to trust communication from supposed social network friends. Based on data from Cisco's 4000-plus security customers, as much as 2% of all Web traffic for businesses comes from accessing social sites like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.”
While that might not seem like a lot of traffic, it begins to add up, especially as more consumers are turning to social media for product recommendations and other information.
Add that to Cisco's prediction of a 30 percent or more increase in spam in 2010 and continuing problems with banking-related Trojans, as well as the millions of people who have already been infected by threats, and enterprises need to step up security measures within the social media arena, as IT Business Edge's Lora Bentley wrote.